The Youth in Nature Partnership
The Youth in Nature Partnership is a collaboration of non-profit and governmental organizations committed to increasing opportunities for youth to spend time in nature. Each organization of YINP brings unique resources and perspectives to help reconnect children with nature. From nature education to just having fun, YINP values how nature can inspire and teach children.
Why We Collaborate
The partners are concerned about the decline in children spending time in nature. Each organization brings unique resources and perspectives to the partnership and creates opportunities to reconnect children with nature. From nature education to service learning to just having fun, we all value how nature can inspire and teach children.
For decades, environmental educators, conservationists, naturalists and others have worked to bring more children to nature. Since 2005, a number of convergent trends, including an intensified awareness of the relationship between human well-being, the ability to learn, and environmental health, as well as concern about child obesity, and the national media attention to nature deficit disorder, are bringing the concerns of these veteran advocates before a broader audience.
Youth in Nature Partnership (YINP) formed in 2008 as a collaborative partnership to promote greater coordination and collaboration among land management agencies; educators, wellness providers, and environmental educators with a long term focus on increasing youth participation in the outdoors/nature in our community.
YINP invited participation in a workshop to develop a coalition of community leaders interested increasing the number of youth who have access to nature and outdoor opportunities. The workshop was part of a three-fold event held in November 2008. This event included a morning workshop for community leaders, an evening public lecture and discussion, and a free family-oriented “Play in the Rain Day” at Mt. Pisgah Arboretum, Eugene, Oregon. Approximately 67 community leaders and organizations from local, county, and federal governments, school districts, education organizations, and wellness providers attended the workshop and networked around this important issue.
The workshop featured a presentation from Martin LeBlanc of the Children and Nature Network (CNN) (www.childrenandnature.org). CNN is one of the organizations responding to Richard Louv’s author of Last Child in the Woods call for addressing nature deficit disorder. Louv coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to describe the increasingly common tendency for children to have little contact with the natural world. To invite reflection on the trend of youth spending less time in nature, LeBlanc spoke on behalf of connecting children with the environment and gave the keynote address entitled “Leave No Child Inside”.